Did Anthony Bragalia take credit for other researchers' work?
Anthony Bragalia’s latest article entitled “Roswell Officer Speaks from the Grave: Taped Confession of ET Recovery Revealed”, posted on his bragalia.blogspot.com on December 6, 2012 is another of his articles containing wrong, and misleading information where in my opinion he also wrongly took credit for being the first to reveal certain information. I previously called Bragalia’s hand in January 2010 about an article he wrote about the BLM and the Foster ranch where the Roswell debris was found.
Searching for the Truth - (Always Telling the Truth Means Never Having to Remember Anything)
The taped confession he refers to is an “oral history video recording” that former Historical Researcher Wendy Connors and I did with Walter Haut at the UFO Museum November 15, 2000. (My copy of the videotape has the following notation on the cover: “Copyright © MM-Wendy Connors/Dennis Balthaser”.) In Bragalia’s article he lists the date of the recording as 1999, which indicates he did not know it was a video recording or the date it was done. He also states that, “Wendy Connors has graciously and generously entrusted him with access to her years of research materials, now in the care of an archivist in the Pacific Northwest.”
I contacted Wendy about that statement, and she emphatically informed me that, “she gave him permission to get copies of printed materials from her archives, but DID NOT give him permission to use the Haut interview we did.” The Walter Haut interview we did is not in the public domain. Apparently this is where the confusion came into play, as Tony has an email from Wendy stating he has “Carte Blanche” to her archived material.
That brings me to the copyright law. The Haut interview as stated above, is copyrighted jointly by Wendy and I. I was never contacted by Bragalia about using any portion of the interview, before he wrote it, and consequently suggested that he remove it in its entirety from his blog or any other website that might have posted it.
“AFTER” Bragalia heard about this editorial I was writing he did finally call me, and I am of the opinion that he was not aware that I was part of the interview or had the joint copyright with Wendy. His reason for not calling earlier was due to other articles I had written that were critical of his research (like now), highlighting errors and erroneous statements etc. The 27-second audio recording he originally had in the article was removed quickly after hearing about my concern, which was the prudent thing to do, claiming that had he known about the copyright he would have called me. I will accept that and advised him to be more diligent in the future when doing his research.
Bragalia had no knowledge of how or when Wendy and I discovered some of the information we discussed with Walter during the interview. I can tell you that some of the information came from Walter’s daughter prior to the interview and that 6 pages of questions and comments were used to conduct the interview by me, with his daughter agreeing to the questions to be presented. (I have a copy of the written agenda used with a note that she had seen the agenda.) There were no restrictions placed on Wendy or I about what would be discussed in the interview, which covered Walter’s personal and military life as a video oral history, and were explained to him to his satisfaction during the first part of the recording
In the first paragraph of Bragalia’s article he refers to Walter Haut as a Lieutenant Colonel and Press Officer. Walter was a Lieutenant---not a Lieutenant Colonel. Considering the difference in rank between a Lieutenant Colonel and Lieutenant is more than an oversight as Bragalia admitted it was on his part.
In the same paragraph he states that a portion of the rare audiotape is revealed publicly by him for the first time in his article. Wendy Connors and I being interviewed on the radio show “Strange Days Indeed”, years ago played a small portion of the tape as copyright owners, so Bragalia should not have taken credit for revealing something for the first time. Our interview with Walter was not the first time that he revealed some of the information, but was one of the reasons Wendy and I decided to do the oral history with him.
The notarized declaration of 2002 that Bragalia mentions as being published in Schmitt and Carey’s book, was not written by Walter, but by Don Schmitt by his own admission on the “Paracast” radio show. Walter signed it in the presence of a visitor to the UFO Museum, whose last name is not listed as the witness on the affidavit in their book. Neither Schmitt, nor Carey were present when Walter signed it. There was another affidavit signed by Walter Haut in 1993 witnessed by Max Littell, who along with Glenn Dennis and Walter Haut were the original founders of the UFO Museum. The verbiage, content and style of writing in the 2002 affidavit was totally different than the 1993 affidavit and did not sound like the man Wendy and I interviewed in 2000.
Bragalia makes no reference to some of the photos used in his article as having requested permission to use them, such as the movie film prop belonging to the Museum, or the Roswell Daily record newspaper that he shows in the article. Perhaps in Bragalia’s mind he is the first to reveal those photos also. A good researcher would make sure he has permission to use certain information before going public with it.
Having volunteered at the Museum from 1996-1998, I had the opportunity to visit with Walter daily and had the utmost respect for him. I in fact wrote a tribute to him on January 2, 2006 after his death in 2005. I also wrote an editorial on October 1, 2007 about the 2002 affidavit Walter signed written by Don Schmitt. Both articles are archived on my website in the Editorials link.
If Bragalia is going to write future articles about Roswell, he needs to thoroughly research his information before going public, and honor copyright laws, when they apply as they did in this latest article about Walter Haut. I do not take lightly those who use other researchers years of work for their own credit, and can assure you I will publicly do whatever is needed to keep the field of Ufology honest. Copyright laws are there for a reason, to prevent people from taking credit for other researchers work.
In our phone conversation Tony admitted that he “assumed” that I was just sitting in on the interview rather than being an actual participant in the interview, and never bothered to contact me, or question my involvement with the interview, knowing I was present. I would like to believe that Anthony Bragalia is a better researcher than what he presented in the article, and would hope that any future articles he writes are better researched than this one was.
I was pleased that he finally did contact me, and I accept the fact that he admitted he should have also contacted me about the copyright, and did have the short audio clip removed as I requested, however I stand firm on my thoughts about the wrong and misleading information he presented in the article.
Dennis G. Balthaser